The term "management by objectives" was first popularized by Peter Drucker in his 1954 book 'The Practice of Management'.
The essence of MBO is participative goal setting, choosing course of actions and decision making. An important part of the MBO is the measurement and the comparison of the employee’s actual performance with the standards set. Ideally, when employees themselves have been involved with the goal setting and choosing the course of action to be followed by them, they are more likely to fulfill their responsibilities.
According to George S. Odiorne, the system of management by objectives can be described as a process whereby the superior and subordinate managers of an organization jointly identify its common goals, define each individual's major areas of responsibility in terms of the results expected of him, and use these measures as guides for operating the unit and assessing the contribution of each of its members.
Unique features and advantages of the MBO process
The basic principle behind Management by Objectives (MBO) is for employees to have a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities expected of them. They can then understand how their activities relate to the achievement of the organization's goal. MBO also places importance on fulfilling the personal goals of each employee.
Some of the important features and advantages of MBO are:
- Motivation – Involving employees in the whole process of goal setting and increasing employee empowerment. This increases employee job satisfaction and commitment.
- Better communication and Coordination – Frequent reviews and interactions between superiors and subordinates helps to maintain harmonious relationships within the organization and also to solve many problems.
- Clarity of goals
- Subordinates tend to have a higher commitment to objectives they set for themselves than those imposed on them by another person.
- Managers can ensure that objectives of the subordinates are linked to the organization's objectives.